SPINOZA, Baruch de. Opera posthuma [Compendium grammatices linguae hebraeae].

Amsterdam, Jan Rieuwertsz., 1677

Quarto (206 x 151 mm), two parts in one volume, [40], 614, [34], 112, 8 pages, without the engraved frontespice portrait which was produced separately and which is found in only a very small number of copies, a few woodcut illustrations and diagrams in the text. Contemporary calf, spine with red morocco lettering piece. From the Library of the Bavarian Royal Family (ex libris) and Dr. Wolfgang Kraemer (ex libris). Occasional light browning, binding restored but a very fine copy. 

GBP 8,000


First edition of Spinoza's Opera posthuma which ‘have served, then and since, with the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, to immortalize his name' (PMM 153). ‘The book was edited by Jarig Jellers, one of Spinoza's best friends … In the book neither author, nor place nor editor are mentioned. This was no superflous precaution, for in the 1678, hardly one year after Spinoza's death, the work was already prohibited by the states of Holland …' ( Kat. Hertzberger – Wolf 378). The first and ‘principal work in the Opera posthuma is Spinoza's Ethics, in which Spinoza bridged the Cartesian duality of body and spirit by maintaining that the universe, including God, constitutes a unified, infinite and allinclusive ‘Substance', of which corporeality and spirituality were merely attributes - a unity expressed in the controversial phrase ‘Deus sive Natura' (God or Nature). Ethics is thus considered the first systematic exposition of pantheism, the philosophy in which God is identified with the entire universe' (Norman). At the end of the volume is the Compendium grammatices linguae Hebraeae which was left uncompleted at the time of his death.. Spinoza's aim in this work is to provide a sort of secularization of Hebrew by recreating its rules and practices as a natural language and not as a holy language.


Norman Library 1988; Caillet 10309; Van der Linde 22.


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